For Heather, a friend who always speaks straight to my soul.
A reprise of one of my favourite blog post from last December. It seems as timely as ever.
On Friday I showed up at a friend’s house for lunch.
I knew I was seeing her between meetings she had and was told we’d be eating soup. I expected to rock up to a tin of Heinz and a few slice of brown bread, but on arrival I was greeted by a table fully decked out for a Christmas celebration, even though there were only two place settings.
We had a festive themed table cloth and party crackers as well as a table laden with homemade soup, crusty bread, croutons, a cheese board, salad and three different desserts.
Reader, I felt thoroughly spoiled.
Topped with paper hats, we had a merry time together, sharing a meal and heartfelt thoughts.
As I left, further blessed with a glass tree decoration that she had forged herself, I knew we had taken communion together.
You don’t need bread and wine to share communion with someone.
I don’t think you need to view the act of communion necessarily in a religious way, although obviously it comes heavily laden with Christian associations. At its heart, the act centred on Jesus and his closest mates sharing a meal between them.
Isn’t that something we all know can be a special occasion, one that seems to take on emotional significance beyond the actual act of eating and drinking?
Surely that is that purpose of communion, a transformative experience that changes us?
Friendships are important because they help to remind you of who you are, whether at your best, your worst or simply your core.
Unlike familial or romantic relationships, there aren’t rites of passage or dedicated days where we can honour and celebrate our platonic ties. This seems a shame, an oversight somehow, as if they are not as important in our lives as relatives by blood or marriage.
Yet we are able to mark the significance of friendships over and over again if only we are mindful of what’s happening around us.
We can share communion, a treasured bond, a life-affirming moment with them whenever we sit down and talk, preferably with food and drink on the table between us too.
We can experience the most spectacular thread of connection even if we were only expecting to have half a tin of reheated soup.
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